Reassessing the Relationship between Elections and Democratization (2020.06)

  • 저자 : Nam Kyu Kim
  • 학술지명 : International Political Science Review
  • 발행처 : Sage
  • 권호 : 41(3)
  • 게재년월 : 2020년 6월
  • 초록 : Do elections improve a country’s prospects for democratization? The theory of democratization by elections proposes that reiterated multiparty elections foster gradual institutional changes leading to progress toward democracy. Edgell et al. provide the most systematic evidence for this theory, but substantial disagreements remain among scholars studying the effects of authoritarian elections on democratization. In this study, I reassess the relationship between elections and democratization. In doing so, I account for the temporal structure of democratic qualities that are highly persistent. When I control for the dynamics of democratic qualities by adding a lag (or lags) of the dependent variable, the democratizing effects of repeated elections disappear; indeed, most evidence indicates a negative relationship between elections and democratization. This finding calls into question the causal role of elections in the process of democratization and demonstrates the importance of modeling the persistent nature of democracy in exploring the effect of a variable on democratization.